3c and 4a. What's the difference?

TH28754TH28754 Posts: 28Registered Users
I've been visiting this board ocassionally every since I did the big chop in about 8 years ago. I didn't then and still don't understand the difference between 3c and 4a. I know this has been discussed several times, but can someone just really do two lists and tell me what the difference is?

3c:


4a:

Comments

  • kdcreighkdcreigh Posts: 736Registered Users
    Curl diameter size is the main difference.
    According to naturally curly's 411 article:

    "3C has really really tight curls, like pencil or straw circumference."
    "4A is like coffee stirrer circumference" which I have also seen referred to as penspring circumference.

    Since 3C is a category created by naturally curly members (I don't know why) and is not officially part of Andre's hair typing system, some ladies don't use it.

    Andre's system is by no means comprehensive, so I understand your confusion. It doesn't account for the variety of different hair textures. Some ladies prefer the LOIS system.

    Bottom line: lots of us have a mixture of different hair types. Don't stress-out about categorizing your hair. It ultimately doesn't matter. :wink: :)

    I hope this helped some! :lol:
    YES WE CAN!

    kdcreigh 4a and b (who knows?:dontknow:)

    Relegated to occasional lurking in order to keep the PJ in check!
    :lurk:

    http://public.fotki.com/kdcreigh/
    PW: natural
  • saharasahara Posts: 149Registered Users
    NM.
  • suthrnqtsuthrnqt Posts: 80Registered Users
    the difference is curl tightness. 3c is looser than 4a, but tighter than 3b. i find that the 3c part of my hair doesn't hold 2 strand twists as well as the 4a either.

    maybe you'll like the LOIS system better. it describes hair curl pattern (either O, L, S, or I), hair strand size (fine, medium, or thick/coarse), and texture (thready, wiry, cottony, spongy, or silky).

    not all 4a's or 3c's have hair that looks or feels the same. for example, alot of 4a's are cottony, but my hair is wiry.


    here's a link to the LOIS system :)
    http://www.ourhair.net/content/view/29/40/
    4a/b with a patch of 3c
    OS - fine strands, wiry texture
    big and thick beautiful hair :)
    http://public.fotki.com/suthrnqt/
    password: growout
    blog: http://suthrnqt.spaces.live.com/
  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe Posts: 15,402Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Here's NC.com's take on it.

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curl411/types.php

    From the book Our Hair

    Andre types hair from 1 to 4, 1 being the straightest and 4 the curliest:
    - Type 1a and 1b hair is straight with no curl or wave. This hair type has a lot of shine and tends to be oily.

    Hair that Andre classifies as Type 2a and 2b has some soft waves but little or no curl. It tends to be coarse and stays
    clings to the scalp in long S shaped curves. This hair type has very little body, though styling products can help it along.

    Type 3a and 3b hair has a definite "S" pattern to it which is usually fine textured and soft. It does not have as much
    shine as Type 1 or 2 hair, but it does have a lot of natural body. When this hair type is wet, it straightens out, but then
    draws up into a curlier state as it dries.

    - Andre classifies Type 4 hair as kinky textured hair which he defines as being tightly curled. Type 4 hair can be wiry
    and very fragile. It is also drier than other hair types because the twists in the hair make it harder for the scalp's sebum to
    reach the ends. Type 4a's hair strand has an "S" shape like spirals.

    Type 4b has the characteristics of Type 4a, but the hair strand has a zig zag shape like "Z". This makes it more
    fragile than all of the other hair types and it should be handled accordingly.


    ================
    Fia's System -

    First classifier - Your curliness (or lack thereof)

    The straight ones
    1a - stick straight
    1b - straight but with a slight body wave, just enough to add some volume, doesn't look wavy
    1c - straight with body wave and one or two visible S-waves (e.g. nape of neck or temples)

    The wavy ones
    2a - loose, stretched out S-waves throughout the hair
    2b - shorter, more distinct S-waves (similar to waves from braiding damp hair)
    2c - distinct S-waves and the odd spiral curl forming here and there

    The curly ones
    3a - big, loose spiral curls
    3b - bouncy ringlets
    3c - tight corkscrews

    The really curly ones
    4a - tightly coiled S-curls
    4b - tightly coiled hair bending in sharp angles (Z-pattern)


    Second classifier - What (most of) your individual strands look like

    F - Fine
    Thin strands that sometimes are almost translucent when held up to the light. Shed strands can be hard to see even against a contrasting background. Similar to hair found on many people of Scandinavian descent.

    M - Medium
    Strands are neither fine nor coarse. Similar to hair found on many Caucasians.

    C - Coarse
    Thick strands that where shed strands usually are easily identified against most backgrounds. Similar to hair found on many people of Asian or native American descent.

    Third classifier - Your overall volume of hair
    Put your hair in a ponytail with as much hair as possible in it. Don't bother with the way it looks - the goal is to have most/all of your hair in there. If it means it sits smack dab on top of your head, put it there.

    Measure the circumference of the ponytail. If you have bangs and/or you can't get all of your hair in there adjust according to how much of your hair you have measured.

    i - thin (less than 2 inches/5 centimeters)
    ii - normal (between 2-4 inches or 5-10 centimeters)
    iii - thick (more than 4 inches/10 centimeters)

    ====================

    They're all different and open to interpretation. Also I don't think this typing system covers hair that has tight waves, not curls.

    Obviously not an exact science...not a science at all.
    My blog - http://suburbanbushbabe.wordpress.com/
    My FOTKI - http://whatsnew.fotki.com/suburbanbushbabe/
    comic-p.jpg

    Playing with my hair is a hobby. Fluffy, fine natural 4a. Goal= Healthy, beautiful hair that retains its length.
    Hear that crash? It's me falling off the CG wagon.
  • TH28754TH28754 Posts: 28Registered Users
    So when you get tips from other curlies, do you find that those with the same texture and volume as you have better tips or those with the same curl pattern. I ask because my hair has 2 types. One type is has s curls that don't shrink up as much but is drier....the other type is spiral ringlets that stay shiny, but shrink up into much tighter curls than the rest. I think of myself as 4a, but I don't have problems with clumping or curl definition at all. I guess I wonder who do I look to for tips.
  • CheleighCheleigh Posts: 552Registered Users
    TH28754 wrote:
    So when you get tips from other curlies, do you find that those with the same texture and volume as you have better tips or those with the same curl pattern. I ask because my hair has 2 types. One type is has s curls that don't shrink up as much but is drier....the other type is spiral ringlets that stay shiny, but shrink up into much tighter curls than the rest. I think of myself as 4a, but I don't have problems with clumping or curl definition at all. I guess I wonder who do I look to for tips.

    Generally, I look for the same texture rather than curl pattern.

    However, I've discovered that generally, it's just trial and error. My hair likes a few of the same products as a 2c/3a on another board, and hates a few products loved by 3c-4bs.
    Natural pics: http://picturetrail.com/shelacious
    pw: kinky
    Hair type: Spongy & kinky texture. Coily & curly strands.

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